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The Role of DNA Methylation in Cancer

  • Ranjani Lakshminarasimhan
  • Gangning Liang
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 945)

Abstract

The malignant transformation of normal cells is driven by both genetic and epigenetic changes. With the advent of next-generation sequencing and large-scale multinational consortium studies, it has become possible to profile the genomes and epigenomes of thousands of primary tumors from nearly every cancer type. From these genome-wide studies, it became clear that the dynamic regulation of DNA methylation is a critical epigenetic mechanism of cancer initiation, maintenance, and progression. Proper control of DNA methylation is not only crucial for regulating gene transcription, but its broader consequences include maintaining the integrity of the genome and modulating immune response. Here, we describe the aberrant DNA methylation changes that take place in cancer and how they contribute to the disease phenotype. Further, we highlight potential clinical implications of these changes in the context of prognostic and diagnostic biomarkers, as well as therapeutic targets.

Keywords

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Methylation Level Promoter Methylation MGMT Expression Acute Lymphoid Leukemia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations

AML

Acute myeloid leukemia

CGIs

CpG islands

CIMP

CpG island methylator phenotype

CpG

Cytosine-guanine dinucleotide

DNMT

DNA methyltransferases

DNMTi

DNA methyltransferase inhibitor

dsRNA

Double-stranded RNA

ERV

Endogenous retrovirus

GBM

Glioblastoma multiforme

MDS

Myelodysplastic syndrome

TCGA

The Cancer Genome Atlas

TSGs

Tumor suppressor genes

Notes

Acknowledgment

The work in the Liang laboratory has been supported in part by the generous contribution of George and Vicky Joseph.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of UrologyUniversity of Southern California, Norris Comprehensive Cancer CenterLos AngelesUSA

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